Box Office Predictions: February 17-20

President’s Day weekend has arrived at the box office with three new titles debuting over the four-day holiday frame: Matt Damon’s action epic The Great Wall, Ice Cube/Charlie Day comedy Fist Fight, and Gore Verbinski’s horror thriller A Cure for Wellness. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/09/the-great-wall-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/09/fist-fight-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/02/09/a-cure-for-wellness-box-office-prediction/

None of the trio is likely to dislodge the Caped Crusader and his Lego friends from the top perch in its second weekend. In fact, this particular February weekend often sees holdovers experience smallish declines. The Lego Movie dipped just 9% in the 2014 PD weekend and I expect the same type of minor dip for its spin-off.

With the #1 film safely (I think) determined, the rest of the top five is much more unpredictable. Looking over the past few President’s Day weekends, newbies opening in the mid to high 20s is commonplace. This applied to titles such as Unknown, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, A Good Day to Die Hard, Safe Haven, About Last Night, and Robocop. I foresee both Wall and Fight falling in this range for a photo finish for #2.

Then there’s Fifty Shades Darker and John Wick: Chapter 2, both in their sophomore weekends. I don’t see Darker having a 74% drop like its predecessor Fifty Shades of Grey experienced (it had a much bigger opening for one thing). However, I could see it losing half its audience easily as grosses for this franchise are front loaded. Wick may lose less than a third of its debut crowd for a solid hold. And that could create another photo finish between these sequels.

This leaves A Cure for Wellness. Strong reviews may have helped this, but it’s not getting them and I’m diagnosing just a low double digits premiere for a probable sixth place showing.

And with that, my top 6 projections for this busy weekend:

1. The Lego Batman Movie

Predicted Gross: $49.4 million (representing a drop of 6%)

2. The Great Wall

Predicted Gross: $25.6 million

3. Fist Fight

Predicted Gross: $25.1 million

4. John Wick: Chapter 2

Predicted Gross: $21.5 million (representing a drop of 29%)

5. Fifty Shades Darker

Predicted Gross: $21.3 million (representing a drop of 54%)

6. A Cure for Wellness

Predicted Gross: $10.2 million

Box Office Results (February 10-12)

The Lego Batman Movie took the top spot, though not with as much ease as many thought it would. The critically acclaimed animated spin-off grossed $53 million, a decent number but not near the $69M made by The Lego Movie in its inaugural weekend and under my $65.8M projection. That said, as mentioned above, its drop this weekend should be slight.

Fifty Shades Darker opened in second at $46.6 million, in line with my $44.8M estimate. This is far from the $85 million achieved two years back by Fifty Shades of Grey, but it’s actually above some of the predictions from prognosticators in the past week or so.

John Wick: Chapter 2 capitalized on the goodwill left over from the 2014 original with a strong $30.4 million, more than doubling the $14M earned by its predecessor two and a half years back. It easily eclipsed my $20.7M estimate.

Holdovers rounded out the top five with Split dropping to fourth at $9.5 million (I said $8.2M) for a $112M total and Hidden Figures at fifth with $8 million (I said $6.9M) for a $131M overall haul.

And that’ll do it for now, folks! Until next time…

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